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S. 690: Enhancing North Korea Humanitarian Assistance Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Mar 10, 2021.

Enhancing North Korea Humanitarian Assistance Act

This bill addresses humanitarian concerns related to sanctions on North Korea.

The Office of Foreign Assets Control shall take one or more specified actions relating to U.S. sanctions on North Korea, such as (1) expanding the current humanitarian exception to such sanctions to include items that meet basic human needs and are not subject to the Export Administration Regulations, or (2) exempting certain nonsensitive items for humanitarian operations from specific licensing requirements.

For the purposes of such sanctions, personal computers for authorized humanitarian activities by nongovernmental organizations shall not be considered luxury goods.

The Department of State shall direct the U.S. representative to the United Nations (UN) to urge the UN to (1) make it less burdensome for nongovernmental organizations to apply for humanitarian exemptions to UN sanctions on North Korea, and (2) speed up approval for such applications.

The State Department shall devise a strategy to expedite and simplify the process for U.S. passport holders to obtain permission to travel to North Korea to provide humanitarian assistance.